The day after his appointment as head of the Ukrainian forces, Oleksandr Syrsky set a “clear” course to repel the Russians: Ukraine must find “innovative” ways to fight. Moscow, for its part, believes that the changes in kyiv will not affect the course of the conflict and that Russian defeat is “impossible”.
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“Perfect” the army to win the war. The day after his appointment as head of the Ukrainian forces, Oleksandr Syrsky set out a “clear” plan to repel the Russians: for him, the Ukrainian armed forces must adapt and find innovative combat methods.
Moscow, for its part, swears that changes of command in kyiv will not affect the course of the conflict.
“Only change and continuous improvement of the means and methods of warfare will allow us to succeed,” asserted on Telegram General Syrsky in his first public address as new army chief of staff.
Oleksandr Syrsky, previously in command of the Army, was promoted Thursday to head Ukraine’s 800,000-strong army in the biggest staff shakeup since the start of the war . The Ukrainian presidency believes that a change was necessary after two years of war, while the front seems frozen.
As commander of the army, Oleksandr Syrsky notably supervised the defense of the capital Kiev at the start of the Russian offensive and planned in July 2022 the lightning counter-offensive which allowed Ukraine to retake the city of Kharkiv, two of the biggest successes of the first year of war.
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However, some Ukrainian soldiers criticized him for the way he then led the prolonged defense of the town of Bakhmut, where thousands of soldiers died on both sides before Kiev’s forces withdrew in May 2023.
“Realistic” battle plan
President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately asked the new army commander for a “realistic” battle plan for 2024, at a time when Kiev is worried about the erosion of Western support caused by internal dissensions in the United States and the Union. European.
“It is a question of planning in a clear and detailed manner the actions of all organs” to allow “victory,” continued Oleksandr Syrsky, described Thursday as “the most experienced general in Ukraine” by Volodymyr Zelensky.
Major problem currently, the Ukrainian army lacks ammunition. However, “the rapid and rational distribution and delivery of everything necessary for combat units has been and remains the main task of military logistics,” assured the new chief of staff.
The general also assured that limiting human losses was his priority. “The life and health of soldiers has always been and remains the main value of the Ukrainian army,” he vowed.
Not enough ammunition at the epicenter of the battle
After almost two years of fierce fighting, Ukraine faces many difficulties on the front. His army lacks ammunition, essential to resist the Russian assaults which are increasing in particular at Avdiïvka, the epicenter of the battle.
The Kiev army is thus focusing on attacking, with drones and missiles, military and energy installations on Russian soil, a means of forcing the Moscow army to withdraw some of its men and equipment. from the front to the rear lines.
On Friday, Ukrainian special services claimed to AFP that they had “hit” two oil refineries in Russia in the Krasnodar region, in the south of the country, which “supply fuel to Russian troops” engaged in Ukraine. Local Russian emergency services have acknowledged the existence of a fire at the refinery in Ilsky, without however making a link between this incident and the drone attacks reported by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Because the Russian army had earlier assured, as usual, that it had neutralized 19 Ukrainian drones during the night in four different regions, including Krasnodar, and above the Black Sea.
Ukraine said it had shot down 10 of the 16 Iranian-designed “Shahed” drones launched by Russia during the night.
An “impossible” Russian defeat, according to Putin
This change of command, however, has not undermined Russia’s determination to continue its invasion of Ukraine, whose army occupies around 20% of the territory.
“We do not think that these are factors that can change the course of the special military operation,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov on Friday.
During an interview with conservative American journalist Tucker Carlson, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself assured that defeat in Ukraine was “impossible”. “It will never happen,” he said, cheered up after a year 2023 marked by the failure of kyiv’s counter-offensive.
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Russia had also made several changes within its general staff, notably following the humiliating retreat in September 2022 of its troops from the Kharkiv region, in northeastern Ukraine, and after the aborted mutiny of the Wagner group in June 2023.
With AFP and Reuters